In my opinion, Bathory are one of the most influential and underrated bands in the history of metal. Unfortunately, this will probably be the last Bathory album to be released. As most fans have found out by now, Quorthon, literally the heart and soul of Bathory, died this past year. Bathory is basically a one man show, with Quorthon doing all of the vocals and instruments. On June 6 of 2004, we lost a brilliant musician, and more importantly, a great man. One of the pioneers of black and viking metal, he will be missed. R.I.P. Ace Börje Forsberg.
Onto the album. All I can say is, if you liked the first Nordland album, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well. Believe it or not, “Nordland I” was actually my first venture into the viking metal genre. But after hearing my first Bathory song, I knew this would be a genre that I would love (and it has. Since then, I’ve become a fan of many other viking-related bands, such as Vintersorg).
A very epic album, “Nordland II” features some beautiful clean vocals, great leads (actually, all of the instruments are played to perfection), and everything else you would love from a Bathory album. The band has changed it’s sound through the years (many believe that most of the Bathory albums from the 90’s are crap), but judging from the two Nordland albums, it seems that Quorthon was back to making solid albums. We can only imiagine what kind of exceptional albums he would have released had he not passed away.